Russian history and culture, from a historian in Cambridge

The Olympic Games and the welfare state

Imagine a midnight flit from the Balkans to southern Russia, for the sake of a lucrative job on an Olympic building site that never pays anything at all. Unpaid wages, … Continue reading

February 19, 2014 · Leave a comment

From Sevastopol (1854) to Sochi (2014): is Russia civilized yet?

Sochi and Sevastopol are separated by a sweep of the Black Sea coast. Sevastopol, on the diamond-shaped peninsula of Crimea, is part of today’s Ukraine, but was Russian or Soviet … Continue reading

February 12, 2014 · Leave a comment

Russian history in the year of Sochi

History and sport are set to collide in Sochi, thanks to Russia’s controversial staging of the Winter Olympics. For all the talk of ‘Putin’s Games’, many of the controversies are … Continue reading

February 7, 2014 · Leave a comment